2017 is going to be a terrifying year. Now more than ever the phrase "Watching the world burn," seems accurate. What this means, simply, is that people have a choice. They can either watch passively as politicians attempt to strip away human rights, or they can get involved and do something.
Now obviously it's not as easy as "getting involved," especially for folks who don't come from backgrounds of organizing and/or activism. For many, the election of Donald Trump is the first time they've ever felt victimized by society — a feeling many may not understand nor know how to react to. It's normal, expected, and healthy to take time for yourself, however, it's also all of our responsibilities, as a collective humanity who doesn't want the world destroyed, to do our part.
One easy way to get started is to join action-oriented newsletters, as they lay out actions in clear, understandable ways. Some focus on issues across the spectrum, while others focus on one area in particular. Regardless of whether you focus on one issue or everything, doing something is important, because, unfortunately, Facebook posts and tweets don't do much unless they're part of some organized movement.
Below are five action-oriented newsletters to enhance your time and work on and off the computer.
Written by editor Mikki Halpin, whom Teen Vogue's Digital Editorial Director Phillip Picardi cited as a major source of knowledge and perspective, action now is a daily newsletter all about, you guessed it, doing something right now. What makes this newsletter stand out, however, is Halpin's voice which is always intersectional, understanding, and compassionate. She doesn't guilt people into action, rather she explains the problem(s) thoroughly yet succinctly, so that it's clear why action must be taken.
If you're looking to get involved but don't know how or where, this newsletter is a great place to start. Through it, you'll not only find ways quick but meaningful actions, but also other avenues through which to get involved. In the year 2017, it's basically impossible to be a progressive if you're not out there doing stuff, because the world's leaders are certainly trying to go backwards.
(Central issues: anything and everything that will be extra relevant under a Trump Presidency like elections, marches, reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ justice, and battles against racism, but also independent things like getting into repair culture.)
FREQ, a newsletter by the team behind the not-for-profit, educational, media analysis powerhouse, Feminist Frequency, is beyond necessary. After the election, founder, executive director, and President of the Board, Anita Sarkeesian spoke out about the importance of self-care and action, in a haunting, raw YouTube video. Since then, FREQ has evolved from a storytelling, interview-driven newsletter, to one that does that while also focusing on recovery and organizing.
The Feminist Frequency team has dealt with onslaughts of Neo-Nazis and misogynist attack for years, so they're pretty much the experts on how to heal in a painful, unforgiving, bigoted world. They receive so much hate, in fact, that there are literally YouTubers and bloggers whose entire "careers" focus solely on responding to Feminist Frequency content. It's really sad.
(Central issues: guides to activism, like how one can self-care and amplify their involvement, or where they can donate their money.)
Transgender Law Center
One community that seems perpetually left to fight alone is the trans community. LGBT has been, for quite some time, a buzzword meant to indicate the wide variety of queer experiences and struggles. However, more often than not, when people use the term 'LGBT' it tends to be about gay people. The trans community has been, and continues to, face an epidemic of violence that is deeply rooted in oppressive gender norms and dangerous lies (i.e. people viewing trans women as men in disguise, as opposed to the real women that they are). 2 trans women of color, Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow and Mesha Caldwell, have already been murdered in 2017, and the year has just started.
The horrifying realities facing trans people, are why organizations like the Transgender Law Center are so important. Few queer justice organizations, across the board, place the focus and resources needed to support trans people, let alone trans women of color. While TLC's mailings are not exactly action-oriented newsletters, they can still be considered important action, seeing as, again, there are few mainstream outlets sharing news on and for trans people. Fighting fake news and getting stuff straight from the source is important in and of itself in the year 2017. Sign up for their newsletter here and educate yourself, so you can be a real ally to the trans community--because people sure do like saying they are, but really...
(Central issues: trans rights.)
Easy Action is everything good about a newsletter. It comes once a week, it isn't overly long, it's easy to look at, and make you feel good about yourself. Truly, though, Easy Action is the email you're happy to get because it's well organized, up-to-date, and always finding ways to keep subscribers involved and motivated.
It also isn't called Easy Action for nothing. Most of the suggested actions take a few minutes or less, or are otherwise longer term, independent projects that you dedicate as much or as little time as you'd like.
(Central issues: like action now, Easy Action covers the wide spectrum of movements for justice.)
If writing isn't your thing, Mercy for Animals also has another newsletter that allows you to fight for farmed animals, only this time, it's dominantly focused on chickens. This one is called Hen Heroes. You may be wondering why they'd have a newsletter that was mostly about chickens. The answer is simple: chickens are arguably the world's most abused animal.
Through emails and social media posts, the Hen Heroes newsletter allows you to step your animal activism up a notch. Put public pressure on cruel companies, encourage grocery stores to go cage-free, celebrate victories for farmed animals, and turn your voice into one that champions animal rights.
(Central issues: animal rights, food justice, and corporate accountability.)